Thirty-five House Republicans on Thursday called for Democratic leaders to bring up a bill to free up funding and extend the Paycheck Protection Program through the end of the year.
The request comes as Democrats negotiate over a larger COVID-19 relief bill with the White House that includes funding for the program, which is intended to help small businesses retain workers and survive the pandemic.
Top Republicans have repeatedly argued that they should authorize the relief to prevent further job loss and to help businesses stay afloat while a larger measure is being negotiated. Democratic leadership has said they don’t believe passing funding for certain priorities piecemeal is the right approach, arguing the gravity of the pandemic calls for ample funding in an array of areas to combat the fallout.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthyKevin McCarthyOmar, Muslim Democrats decry Islamophobia amid death threats McCarthy raised 0K after marathon speech Dem leader calls on GOP to 'cleanse' itself after Boebert comments MORE (R-Calif.) alleged the only reason negotiations began again was to prevent moderate Democrats from signing a GOP discharge petition.
“The only reason why she [Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy raised 0K after marathon speech Davis passes on bid for governor in Illinois, running for reelection to House Feehery: Why Democrats are now historically unpopular MORE (D-Calif.)] has any movement is because Republicans put up a discharge petition," he said.
The House is now expected to vote on a $2.2 trillion relief bill that is not backed by the White House and Republicans.
Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven MnuchinMnuchin and McConnell discuss debt limit during brief meeting Major Russian hacking group linked to ransomware attack on Sinclair: report The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Biden jumps into frenzied Dem spending talks MORE presented a $1.6 trillion counteroffer to Pelosi on Wednesday, but a divide remains between parties on a number of key issues.
The Democrat-led bill is not expected to see movement in the upper chamber.